Vectorworks 2021 System Requirements

The following are real-world system requirements for running Vectorworks 2021. In some demanding cases, we would suggest a more capable machine than is described in these hardware profiles. Likewise, there are some less demanding situations where Vectorworks will perform well on older hardware.

 

General Requirements

 

Operating Systems

macOS 10.15 (Catalina)

macOS 10.14 (Mojave)

macOS 10.13 (High Sierra)

macOS 10.12 (Sierra)

 

Windows 10 64-bit

 

Minimum Hardware Profile

 

Entry-level Profile:

For small projects, simple models/drawings with a low level of detail, simple renderings (such as, small residential projects, small theaters, small landscaping design)

 

Processor:

Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5, or better

 

RAM:

8GB or more

 

Graphics Card:

OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics card with 2GB of VRAM or more

 

Some integrated graphics cards such as Intel Iris graphics are acceptable for simple models/drawings, but a dedicated graphics card is preferable.

 

Vision requires a dedicated OpenGL 4.1 compatible graphics card with 2GB of VRAM or more, preferably released in the past three years (e.g. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 series, AMD Radeon RX 500 series).

 

Using multiple view panes with different visibilities in all panes requires a graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM.

 

Display Resolution:

1440 x 900 or higher

 

Hard Disk:

10GB free disk space is required for the installation. 30GB or more is required for a full installation with all libraries.

Case sensitive file system volumes are not supported.

 

Recommended Hardware Profiles

 

High-end Profile:

For large projects, complex and very detailed models/drawings, complex renderings (such as large BIM projects, large entertainment venues, commercial sites, GIS, high end landscaping design, photorealistic rendering)

 

Processor:

3.0+ GHz Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 with eight cores, or better

 

RAM:

32GB or more

 

Graphics Card:

A dedicated OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics card with 8GB of VRAM or more

 

Vision requires a dedicated OpenGL 4.1 compatible graphics card with 8GB of VRAM or more, preferably released in the past three years (e.g. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 TI series, AMD Radeon RX 5000 series).

 

Display Resolution:

1920 x 1080 or higher

 

Hard Disk:

10GB free disk space is required for the installation. 30GB or more is required for a full installation with all libraries.

Case sensitive file system volumes are not supported.

 

Installing Vectorworks on flash storage (SSD) is recommended.

 

Mid-level Profile:

For medium-size projects, complex models/drawings with medium level of details (such as small commercial projects, mid-size entertainment venues, residential site modeling)

 

Processor:

2.0+ GHz Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 with six cores, or better

 

RAM:

16GB or more

 

Graphics Card:

A dedicated OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics card with 3GB of VRAM or more

 

Vision requires a dedicated OpenGL 4.1 compatible graphics card with 4GB or VRAM or more, preferably released in the past three years (e.g. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 series, AMD Radeon RX Vega series).

 

Using multiple view panes with different visibilities in all panes requires a graphics card with at least 3GB of VRAM, with 4GB or more recommended for large files.

 

Display Resolution:

1920 x 1080 or higher

 

Hard Disk:

10GB free disk space is required for the installation. 30GB or more is required for a full installation with all libraries.

Case sensitive file system volumes are not supported.

 

Installing Vectorworks on flash storage (SSD) is recommended.

 

Hardware Requirements for Project Sharing Server

 

Operating System:

Windows Server 2012 or later

Windows 10 64-bit

 

Note:

Users installing the Project Sharing Server on a Windows machine will need to install vc_redist.x64.exe for Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019: 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2977003/the-latest-supported-visual-c-downloads

 

macOS 10.15 (Catalina)

macOS 10.14 (Mojave)

macOS 10.13 (High Sierra)

macOS 10.12 (Sierra)

 

Note: Project Sharing Server can also be installed on any system that supports Docker such as Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices.

 

Processor:

64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo or better

 

RAM:

4GB or more

 

Hard Drive:

A flash storage (SSD) is recommended.

Case sensitive file system volumes are not supported.

 

Network Requirements for Project Sharing

 

Project sharing requires high-speed network connections. As the network bandwidth increases, so does project sharing performance. Slower network speeds can still provide a satisfactory user experience if you minimize operations that transfer large amounts of data over the network (such as committing changes to the project file or refreshing a local working file).

 

Server-based LAN Sharing:

 

Minimum: A Fast Ethernet (100Mbit/s) network connection with minimum 50Mbit/s on upload.

 

Recommended: A Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbit/s) network connection is required for large projects.

 

Firewalls should allow network ports used by the Project Sharing Server. The default port is 22001. It is configurable during installation.

 

The network must support HTTP 1.1 standard.

 

Server-based LAN Sharing is the recommended method of sharing for teams on the same LAN.

 

File-based LAN Sharing:

Minimum: A Fast Ethernet (100Mbit/s) network connection

Recommended: A Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbit/s) network connection is required for large projects.

 

Cloud Sharing:

Project sharing using cloud-based storage requires a high-speed internet connection (50Mbit/s or above).

 

This method of sharing works best with small teams or small projects. It is not recommended for large teams or large projects. You can expect significant speed improvements when using Dropbox with LAN sync enabled. It is the preferred cloud-based sharing solution for project sharing.

 

Hard Drive:

Storing project files on flash storage (SSD) is recommended.

 

Hardware Requirements for Site Protection Server (network license manager)

 

Operating System:

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or later

Windows 10 64-bit

 

macOS 10.15 (Catalina)

macOS 10.14 (Mojave)

macOS 10.13 (High Sierra)

 

Processor:

64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo or better

 

RAM:

4GB or more

 

Hard Drive:

30MB free disk space is required for installation.

Case sensitive file system volumes are not supported.

 

Additional Details

 

Graphics Cards

IMPORTANT – Several Vectorworks features have placed higher demands on graphic hardware. Additionally, the performance and quality of the graphics provided by the Vectorworks Graphics Module depend directly on the speed, memory, and supported extensions of the graphics card. These features have the potential to provide a very fast and fluid experience if used on capable hardware, or a noticeably slower experience if used on older or incompatible hardware. Graphics cards should support at a minimum OpenGL version 2.1; cards not meeting this recommendation will not work. In general, the more powerful your graphics card is, the better your Vectorworks experience will be.

The amount of Video RAM (VRAM) required to drive Vectorworks adequately depends largely on the size of the display being used and the complexity of the Vectorworks document. Medium-sized displays with a native resolution of 1920x1080 or less should be driven by a graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM.  Larger displays should use a modern graphics card with at least 3GB of VRAM, with 4GB or more recommended.

OpenGL rendering of shadows and edges are VRAM-intensive and require at least 2GB, with 4GB of VRAM or more being preferable. If you want to take full advantage of OpenGL shadows and edges, especially in situations where you have any combination of the following:
    - many lights
    - point lights
    - image textures
    - anti-aliasing
    - high shadow quality
    - excessive geometry

and if you have a graphics card with less than 2GB of VRAM, you should consider upgrading your graphics card.

 

Using Multiple View Panes with different visibilities in all panes can be VRAM-intensive and require at least 2GB of VRAM, with 3GB or more recommended for large Vectorworks documents.

We strongly recommend that all users check that their video drivers are current. The majority of display problems reported to our Technical Support department have been traced to older video drivers. In general, a recent graphics card running the latest drivers is preferable to an old high-end graphics card running outdated drivers.

 

Vision requires a dedicated OpenGL 4.1 compatible graphics card, preferably released in the past three years. We do not recommend any integrated Intel video chipset. While Vision may run under these environments, we do not support them due to their lack of performance and speed. We recommend gaming cards over workstation cards for Vision due to the higher clock speed.

 

For the latest information on our graphics card recommendations and for other hardware recommendations, go to the Quality-Tested Hardware page.

 

Vectorworks may be used in conjunction with real-time rendering engines which have their own demanding hardware requirements.  For example see Lumion: https://support.lumion.com/hc/en-us/articles/360003476753-Which-graphics-card-do-you-need-

 

Remote and Virtual Machines:

We do not consider remote login environments such as Remote Desktop, Terminal Services and VNC or virtual machine environments such as Parallels and VMware to be appropriate for regular work, so Vectorworks performance in these situations is not of primary concern to us. They may be appropriate for administrative testing or utility purposes, and Vectorworks is fully functional in these environments. You should not expect high performance in these environments, however, especially with interactive screen feedback.

 

We do support Vectorworks running under Boot Camp on Mac machines. As long as you have appropriate and current drivers for the hardware on your machine, you can expect fast and reliable Vectorworks behavior.

 

Maintenance Releases:

Unless there is a known problem with a maintenance release of the operating system, we recommend the latest maintenance release at the time we ship a new release of Vectorworks as a minimum because that is what we test with. If you have problems with an earlier maintenance release, we will often ask you to update as an initial troubleshooting step.

  

Optimizing Performance:

For users who work with large files and complex renderings, we recommend running with at least 16GB of RAM. When RAM runs out, Vectorworks usually continues to function, but is slowed significantly by the need to access the hard drive to provide virtual memory. Extreme lack of RAM may cause operations to generate errors in cases where given sufficient RAM they would otherwise succeed. Faster hard drives can have a large impact on system performance especially when virtual memory is actively being used.

 

Several tasks in Vectorworks leverage multiple CPU cores. Faster or slower processor clock speeds also have a predictable impact on Vectorworks performance. Hard drive size requirements are driven by the total size of Vectorworks including all content files. You can reduce this size by opting to not install some of the larger Vectorworks content files.

 

Project Sharing and Network Bandwidth:

The performance of Vectorworks when working on a shared project over the network will depend on the available network bandwidth. If the network bandwidth is insufficient, operations that transfer large amount of data over the network will be slow.

We recommend at minimum a Fast Ethernet (100Mbit/s) network connection. For large projects, a Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbit/s) network is required for a fast and fluid experience.

 

Project sharing using cloud-based storages requires a high-speed internet connection (50Mbit/s or above). This method of sharing works best with small teams or small projects. It is not recommended for large teams or large projects. You can expect significant speed improvements when using Dropbox with LAN sync enabled. It is the preferred cloud-based sharing solution for project sharing.

 

Although project sharing requires high-speed network connections in general, slower network speeds can still provide a satisfactory user experience if you minimize operations that transfer large amounts of data over the network (such as committing changes to the project file or refreshing a local working file).

 

Examples of data transfer times during commit and refresh operations for different bandwidths and project file sizes are shown in the chart below.

 

Project File Size

Network Bandwidth (download/upload) Commit/Refresh Data Transfer Time

 

100 MB

50Mbit/s

~20s

100Mbit/s

~10s

1Gbit/s

~1s

 

500 MB

50Mbit/s

~100s

100Mbit/s

~50s

1Gbit/s

~5s

 

1GB

50Mbit/s

~200s

100Mbit/s

~100s

1Gbit/s

~10s